Study reveals stay of coronavirus on several contaminated surfaces

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Study reveals stay of coronavirus on several contaminated surfaces
Study reveals stay of coronavirus on several contaminated surfaces

New Delhi : The virus that causes Covid-19 can stay from hours to days on different types of surfaces, claimed a new study. 

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, claimed that the people may get infected with the coronavirus via air and touching contaminated objects. The scientists found that the virus was detected in air for upto 3 hours. While it stuck to copper for four hours and up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

"This virus is quite transmissible through relatively casual contact, making this pathogen very hard to contain," said James Lloyd-Smith, a co-author of the study and a UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. "If you're touching items that someone else has recently handled, be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands."

The study tried to find out the duration of virus it can stay on everyday surfaces in a household or hospital. 

The study's authors are from UCLA, the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Princeton University. They include Amandine Gamble, a UCLA postdoctoral researcher in Lloyd-Smith's laboratory.

In February, Lloyd-Smith and colleagues reported in the journal eLife that the screening of passengers globally is not effective as many people may be spreading the virus unknowingly. It takes a few days for the symptoms to show up. 

"Many people won't have developed symptoms yet," Lloyd-Smith said. "Based on our earlier analysis of flu pandemic data, many people may not choose to disclose if they do know."

The new study supports guidance from public health professionals to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, and dispose of the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.